For SAA Students Graduating This Year

     This offering is meant to shed some light on the math course sequence for SAA seniors heading to high school.

     Everyone who graduates from the Academy will have a solid grounding in Algebra 1 and many of them will also have completed Geometry.

     Both Karl Graf and Mike Hansen recommend that every student complete Geometry before beginning 9th grade.  The main reason for this is the fact that beginning high school in Algebra 2 eliminates the 15 months between the end of Algebra 1 and the beginning of Algebra 2 that other students experience.  On the other hand, not completing Geometry before 9th grade does not mean that a student won't enjoy a very successful math experience in high school.

     Scenario 1: Assume that an Academy graduate has mastered Algebra 1, but has not taken Geometry.  That student will be placed in either “Regular” or “Honors” Geometry in 9th grade as determined by his level of developmental readiness.  After 9th grade all students, regardless of the high school attended, will be placed in an appropriate level of Algebra 2.  As juniors these students will be placed in Pre-Calculus followed by either Calculus AB or BC, as seniors.  
(Calculus AB is a first semester college Calculus course.  Calculus BC is Calculus AB during the first semester and a second semester college Calculus course during the spring of 12th grade).  A student who showed mastery of Pre-Calculus should take Calculus BC.  If he struggled some with Pre-Calculus it would probably be more prudent for him to take Calculus AB.  Students may take the AP (advanced placement) exam at the end of either AB or BC Calculus.  Passing the AP exam with a score of 3, 4, or 5 usually ensures that a student will receive some college math credit from his college of choice.  The exception would be some of the most elite universities that do not give any credit for AP success.

     In the second scenario, a student leaves SAA with high school credit for both Algebra 1 and Geometry.  These students will usually be placed in the appropriate level of Algebra 2 (pending entrance exam outcomes).  As sophomores the guys who complete Algebra 2 in 9th grade will be placed in Pre-Calculus.  Near the end of their 10th grade year these students need to determine their level of comfort with Pre-Calculus skills.  Those who determine that they are not as comfortable with these topics as they would like/need to be are advised to enroll in Calculus AB as their 3rd high school math course.  This would be followed with Calculus BC (especially if they are going into college with the idea of working on a degree that is math intense; Ex. Engineering) or AP Statistics.  Statistics will serve them well in life no matter what they do.

    Every student needs to take four years of math in high school.

     If you have any questions please feel free to contact Karl or Mike.